Peter celebrates on podium with Hawksworth and Chaves
Peter Dempsey brought home a second place finish in today’s Toronto 100 race in an aggressive and thrilling charge through the field from his seventh place starting position.
Dempsey gave a strong showing in Friday’s practice sessions, ending up second quickest at the end of the day, and was lying second in this morning’s qualifying when a snafu with the No. 12 car of Zach Veach occurred; Veach collided with the wall and collected the immediately ensuing car of Dempsey. The early incident cost both Veach and Dempsey their fastest lap times in the session, and as a result, Dempsey started seventh for the 50-lap race.
“We had great pace on Friday and ended up second quickest at the end of the day,” said Dempsey. “We were confident that we had a car capable of challenging for the pole, so to get caught up in a crash that was unavoidable on my part was unfortunate. It was a shame to do so much damage to the car, but the guys at Belardi Auto Racing worked extremely hard to get it fixed and 100 percent ready for the race.”
As normal, the Irish racer put on an exciting show in the race as he made bold moves to pursue a spot at the front of the field. By the end of lap one, Dempsey had passed four cars and settled into third place. Dempsey stayed with the leaders throughout the event, and when the No. 7 car of Gabby Chaves lost second gear, the door opened for the Freedom 100 winner to take over second place. Needless to say, if there was an award given for the most positions gained during a race, Dempsey would have won it today.
“The race was exciting for the first few laps,” continued Dempsey. “I knew it was going to be very important to get a good first lap, and I made some good moves to get up to third right away. I put the pressure on Gabby [Chaves] for the first 15 laps, but the door never really opened, so I settled into a rhythm in third. The car was good all race, so I want to thank Lou [D’Agostino], my engineer for that. We worked really well together this weekend. Fortunately, I was able to get by Gabby towards the end of the race and bring home a second place finish. It was a great result considering where we started this morning.
“I really want to thank Brian [Belardi] and everyone at Belardi Auto Racing as well as Slick Locks and The Door Doctor, Montreal for their support this weekend. Now we have to focus on Mid-Ohio. We had a very good test there a few weeks ago, and we are going to do our very best to keep the podium run going!”
Dempsey finished second in his first visit to the Streets of Toronto in 2011 and fourth in the event in 2012. He currently lies fifth in the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights championship with 266 points.
Up next for Peter and the Belardi Auto Racing team is the road course of Mid-Ohio August 2-4.